‘Nextbit’ team of superstars promises to “build something bigger” for mobile

Nextbit

If you haven’t heard of Nextbit, we won’t blame you. However, you might want to keep an eye on the up-and-coming company in the future.

Supported by a team of former tech giant employees including Google, Apple, Amazon and Dropbox, the company just received an $18 million dollar investment from Accel and Google Ventures as it looks to “build something bigger.”


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Google Implements Data Compression and Bandwidth Management To Chrome For Android Plus More

datasavingsduo_v3

If you thought Chrome was pretty good for Android, it’s about to get even better. The Google Chrome team just announced via their blog the launch of a few new features and upgrades coming to the highly popular mobile browser. The company will be implementing a new data compression option and the ability to manage allocated bandwidth for the app, reducing your overall data usage by up to 50%. That’s a pretty big deal for those keeping a hawk’s eye on how much monthly data they’re using. In addition, the search giant is adding enhancements such as  “Safe Browsing” technology in an attempt to thwart malicious webpages.  Once the update rolls out, you’ll be able to go to Settings->Bandwidth management->Reduce data usage and toggle to “On“. This will also allow you to track how much bandwidth you’re saving on a monthly basis.  
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Support for Ubuntu Touch ending on Galaxy Nexus, 2012 Nexus 7, Nexus 10— Nexus 5 support will not come

Ubuntu touch

Ubuntu Touch, the popular operating system’s mobile version, will be stopping support on several high-end Nexus devices— the 2012 Nexus 7, the Nexus 10, and the Galaxy Nexus. Canonical, the commercial entity behind Ubuntu, hopes to scale down focus in order to improve Ubuntu’s current version, 14.04. Making one operating system work seamlessly on multiple devices is a lot of work, and for a project so early in its life, this may be a good idea.

Plans for support on the Nexus 5 have also not been announced, so don’t expect that to come any time soon either.

Although support is being dropped in the short term, this marks an effort by Canonical to continue pushing for the long-term growth of Ubuntu Touch. The more solid and stable the product, the better.

Source: LaunchPad

Android distribution numbers show Jelly Bean, KitKat rise as Gingerbread slowly fades

android_distribution_january_2014

Compared to last month’s numbers, Android’s distribution has not changed too much. Android 4.4 KitKat is slowly rising while 4.1.x Jelly Bean has almost reached 60%. Ice Cream Sandwich, which was Android’s last major redesign, has dropped a few ticks. But the real annoyance comes from Gingerbread. It is still lingering around. It dropped about 3% since last month — nothing too amazing. It’s just good to see the numbers shift towards Jelly Bean and KitKat.

Source: Android Developers

Samsung’s Galaxy S5 could include head-tracking gesture controls

Samsung Galaxy S5

Smart Stay and Smart Pause are just two of Samsung’s interesting and unique features that are included on many of their devices, but the functionality of these tools have sometime been questioned. Although the concepts are great, they sometimes do not work as well as advertised…

Either way, the addition of these features have proven to be successful for Samsung, especially in the marketing department, and the company is showing no signs of slowing these additions down. According to a recent patent application filed by Samsung, the Galaxy S5 will reportedly include head-tracking gesture controls. The device will be able to carry out functions determined by a wink or nod of the head. SamMobile offered an example: the phone could be able to go to the last webpage in a browser if the phone detects a head movement to the left, or the browser could go to the next page after a move of the head to the right side.

It all seems a bit silly, and I’d have to guess that people would look a bit ridiculous jerking their heads around and winking at their phones to control their devices. The idea is cool, but is it practical? We’ll just have to wait and see.

Source: SamMobile

Android 4.4.2 test firmware for Galaxy S 4 leaked

Samsung_Galaxy_S_4_Back_Bottom_GS4_Logo_TAMotorola devices began getting Android 4.4.2 a few days ago, but Samsung users were still waiting. Lucky for S4 users, SamMobile has gotten their hands on an exclusive Android 4.4.2 test firmware – I9505XXUFNA1 – for the Galaxy S 4. The firmware is expected to officially launch in February or March, but thanks to SamMobile, you can test it out now.

4.4.2 has minor UI changes, with the most noticeable being that all of the status bar icons are now white, instead of the old Ginerbread green. There’s also a little bump in performance and benchmark scores. A few other fixes include better landscape keyboard performance, and a camera shortcut on the lockscreen. Click through the source link to get instructions on how to try it out yourself.

Source: SamMobile

WWE to launch streaming subscription service for devices in February, announced at CES

WWE

Are you a WWE fan? You’re in luck.

Last night at CES, WWE chairman Vince McMahon announced that the company would be bringing a subscription streaming service to devices for $9.99/month.

Utilizing the same technology as the MLB At Bat application, users will be able to access content 24/7, and get all 12 monthly pay-per-view specials and a massive library of wrestling content. The service goes live on February 24.

On top of new content, you’ll get access to all previous PPV events from WWE, WCW and ECW. You’ll be able to view it from computers, Android/iOS devices, the Xbox 360/One, the PS3/4, and Roku.

This low-cost option is certainly something to look into for all wrestling fans, as the PPV specials used to cost $44.95 as opposed to the new price of $9.99. WWE will certainly lose some short-term revenue, but where it loses money it hopes to make up with new subscribers.

Be sure to check out all of our CES 2014 coverage here.

Source: The Verge

 

Motorola’s original DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX update is official, brings data enhancements

Motorola_Logo_From_DROID_RAZR_MAXX_HD_TA

Remember the DROID RAZR and RAZR MAXX’s soak test that went out on Monday? We now have the details on what it brings. Unfortunately, not much. To be exact, it adds just two enhancements. The first is a data bug that was occuring while roaming in Canada on Telus GSM and UMTS networks. And the other was yet another data bug that occurred when connected to an extended network in places like Alaska. A warning would appear; however, that has now been fixed. The update is named 98.72.165.XT912.Verizon.en.US in case you were wondering. Nothing else to see here, folks.

Source: Motorola

American Red Cross releases ‘Pet First Aid’ app to Play Store

American Red Cross

The Red Cross’ ‘First Aid’ app made it to our list of “Best Android apps for medical emergencies, patient care, and First Aid information.” It shouldn’t come as a surprise that its new app, “Pet First Aid,” should be a handy tool for all you pet-loving Android owners out there.

In the app, you’ll get in-depth veterinary advise for both simple and complicated pet emergencies so that you’ll be prepared if something bad were to actually happen. You’ll get step-by-step advice, videos and interactive quizzes to test your knowledge.

This app really is full of information and all pet owners should consider buying the app— it’s only 99 cents, and it could end up saving your pet’s life.

Hit the break for a gallery of screenshots as well as a link to the app in the Play Store.


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Feedly introduces ‘speed reading’ feature on beta app for Android

feedly

When Google shut down its semi-popular ‘Reader’ RSS reader, it encouraged its users to use other popular readers such as Feedly.

Feedly certainly took advantage of the opportunity, as it quickly enhanced its offering and created many new features for users.

Today, Feedly continued the trend by adding a “speed reading” feature to the beta version of its  Android application. You’ll now be able to use a simple tap gesture to quickly move from one article to the next without waiting around for the page to load. If you’re part of the Feedly beta community, head on over to the Play Store and grab the update.

The new version also includes a few bug fixes (rendering on Android 4.1, an issue with the back button, login expiration, and more).

Hit the source link to see a GIF of the new feature in action. 

Source: Feedly Blog